GSMA: 5G mmWave activities at WRC 19

The GSMA, which lobbies on behalf of the mobile industry, is bracing itself for a battle with Europe over the use of millimeter-wave (mmWave) spectrum for 5G services. The group is anticipating a potential clash at this week’s World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC 19) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt over the use of mmWave, which some European authorities argue interferes with “space services” such as satellite-based weather-sensing.

Brett Tarnutzer, head of spectrum at the GSMA, wrote: “We are calling for Europe to join the US in taking a pro-5G stance at WRC-19 to protect its digital future. Some administrations are still determined to limit mobile use of airwaves that 5G requires to reach its full potential. This protectionist attitude will have consequences for our global economy if allowed to prevail.”

WRC-19 and Agenda Item 1.13 presents the opportunity to identify mmWave spectrum in the 26, 40, 50 and 66 GHz bands. By doing so, the conference can lay the essential foundation for a bright 5G future. These bands enable key capabilities of 5G such as ultra-high capacity and ultra-high speed services.

It is also important the bands come with reasonable conditions. Unfortunately, it is possible to identify a band for IMT on paper, but effectively render it unusable in practice. Where conditions are necessary to protect other services, they should be applied. Where conditions have been found by the technical studies to be unnecessary, it will be harmful to 5G deployment to impose them without reason.

On October 31 at WRC-19, GSMA welcomed delegates from Arab Spectrum Management Group (ASMG) to a lunchtime seminar to discuss Agenda Item 1.13 with a focus on mmWave spectrum for the future of 5G.

“The Arab Spectrum Management Group has already positioned itself as a 5G leader. And its full support for the identification of mmWave spectrum at WRC-19 will help it build on that momentum.” said GSMA Director General Mats Granryd.

Speakers from Nokia, TMG and the GSMA, and Director General Mats Granryd, talked about how the right conditions for mmWave spectrum at WRC-19 can change how connectivity drives the Arab region forward.

At the seminar, the GSMA also presented findings from its recently published report on mmWave Use Cases, and the impact they will have on all aspects of society. GSMA believes the performance benefits of mmWave, including ultra-high speeds and low latencies, will drive the revolutionary impact of the most advanced 5G services. Use cases such as expanded broadband access and advanced healthcare stand to profit greatly from access to mmWave spectrum.  [No mention was made of mmWave’s need for the line of sight, short distance/reach, or need for many small cells.]

The Middle East and North Africa are expected to deliver $15.4 billion in GDP from mmWave 5G by 2034. But economic impact, along with all the underlying use cases that make it possible, is only possible if mmWave spectrum is identified for IMT with reasonable conditions.

The mobile industry is asking for the IMT (ITU acronym for International Mobile Telecomunications) identification of:
• 26 GHz (24.25-27.5 GHz);
• 40 GHz (37-43.5 GHz);
• 50 GHz (45.5-52.6 GHz); and
• 66 GHz (66-71 GHz).

The presentation from the seminar is available here.  A few highlights follow:

Various applications and services require access to spectrum from low, mid, and high bands:

  1. High band: Extreme capacity, e.g. 2.3, 2.6, 3.3–4.2, 4.4-5 GHz etc.
    80-100 MHz MNO contiguous 2020 onwards
  2. Mid band: Both coverage & capacity, e.g. 24.25-29.5, 37-43.5 GHz etc
    800-1000 MHz MNO/Network contiguous 2020 onwards
  3. Low band: Extended coverage, e.g. 600, 700 MHz etc
    Up to 20 MHz channel bandwidth; 2020 onwards

5G is expected to contribute $2.2 trillion to global GDP (by 2034)

In a report written by TMG, 5G mmWave services are said to realize $565 billion in global GDP and $152 billion in tax revenue over a 15-year period, from 2020 to 2034. By the end of this period,That equals 25 per cent of the value created by 5G. The report also breaks down the impact on a regional level.

A second TMG report, looks at the impact of mmWave spectrum  on economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and South East Asia and the Pacific Islands, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the RCC region. It reveals how the benefits on mmWave 5G will be felt across industries and explores exciting new 5G use cases, including healthcare, industrial automation, education and connectivity.  None of these use cases will reach their full potential without access to mmWaves.

Case Studies (with illustrations): Extractive Industries, Connectivity, Smart transportation logistics hubs


ITU Comment on mmWave 5G:

Tremendous study and discussion have already been put into WRC‑19 agenda item 1.13. The specially created Task Group 5/1 met extensively between May 2016 and August 2018, taking an exhaustive look at mmWave frequencies (bands including 26 GHz, 40 GHz, 50 GHz and 66 GHz).

The sharing and compatibility studies showed that, while some services need protection measures, scenarios with many services show positive margins that don’t require additional measures.

The development of the Radio Regulations at WRC follows a simple rule: where existing services need protecting, measures will be put in place; where sharing is feasible, no action is required at WRC.

The performance benefits of mmWave 5G, including ultra-high speeds and low lag, will drive revolutionary new applications across many sectors around the globe. This holds the potential to create an intelligently connected world and enable a new, unprecedented era of industrial connectivity. It can facilitate enhanced services and help nations address our most pressing global concerns: climate change, enhanced economic growth, and fairer societies.

Whether it is a school that wants to educate more students; a city that wants to improve air quality or a company that wants to improve worker safety, 5G can build on the success of mobile networks in ways that matter to everyone. 5G stands to provide amazing improvement to health care, especially in poorer, rural areas.

5G’s future hangs in the balance at WRC-19


References for GSMA at WRC-19:

The GSMA WRC series – getting the most out of WRC-19

WRC-19: ASMG lunchtime seminar on mmWave spectrum for 5G

mmWave 5G success sets the stage for big benefits

5G mmWave: Facts and fictions you should definitely know


3 thoughts on “GSMA: 5G mmWave activities at WRC 19

  1. 5G’s success is not measured only in the prosperity it will bring to society, but also its ability to connect the underserved to health care, education and employment opportunities and to protect the environment we live in. In fact, the mobile industry was the first industry sector to commit to do its part to meet the targets of the 17 United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals, and it annually measures its contribution to those shared goals. Twenty seven mobile operators with 2/3 of the world’s connections have also committed to support an industry-wide approach to net-zero emissions, in line with the UN Paris Agreement to combat climate change.

    The WRC process has always depended on collaboration between countries and industries within the ITU family. This time, together, we have the opportunity to set the stage for the next wave of digital services, bringing revolutionary new services to citizens, industries and governments. The future of connectivity is on the table at WRC‑19, and the work we do in Sharm El-Sheikh will have a huge impact on how we connect everyone and everything to 5G, realizing a better future for all.

  2. WRC Agenda Item 1.13. This seeks to examine proposals for 5G mobile to use additional bands in higher frequencies than the mobile industry previously had the technology to use. It may be the first of many such requirements given the burgeoning demand from the mobile sector. The GSA’s Joe Barrett points out, “Spectrum for 5G above 6 GHz is a key component of WRC-19 and GSA is representing the mobile supplier ecosystem in cooperation with the mobile operator association, GSMA, to support the allocation of enough harmonized spectrum to make sure 5G services can be delivered and customer expectations can be met.”

    He continues: “Access to a broad range of spectrum resource is the main growth driver for the deployment of wireless services; conversely spectrum can also be a limiting factor for the expansion of wireless broadband into new markets and industries. GSA therefore advocates that a range of frequency bands should be made available for mobile broadband including the low-band (below 2 GHz), mid-band (2 GHz to 6 GHz) and high-band (above 6 GHz).”

    Moreover, it will need to be available in specific configurations. “GSA recommends that at least 1 GHz of spectrum, ideally contiguous, is made available per network, from high-bands to support the full range of coverage and capacity needs that are, and will be, demanded by public organizations, private businesses, and consumers,” says Mr. Barrett. “Commercial deployments in the U.S. are underway, and Korea and Japan services are planned to start in 2020. Many other countries are in the process of planning to license high-bands following WRC-19.”
    Additional Spectrum For IMT-2020 Networks Otherwise Known as 5G:
    5G is expected to connect people, things, data, applications, transport systems, and cities in smart networked communication environments. It should transport a huge amount of data much faster, reliably connect an extremely large number of devices, and process very high volumes of data with minimal delay.

  3. WRC-19 identified new frequency bands 24.25-27.5 GHz, 37-43.5 GHz, 45.5-47 GHz, 47.2-48.2 and 66-71 GHz for the deployment of 5G (IMT 2020) radio access networks. Those frequencies will be included in a new version of ITU-R M.1036 recommendation.

    ITU-R M.1036 will specify the frequency bands for IMT 2020 RIT/SRITs as well as all other IMT recommendations (e.g. IMT-2000, IMT-Advanced, etc).

    Free download of the ITU-R M.1036 pdf:!!PDF-E.pdf

Comments are closed.